PRESIDENTIAL – ELECTION BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND NOW
If Siljanovska and her mentors want more votes, then they will need to quickly change not only the rhetoric, but also to redefine their views on the status of the country
writes: Zoran Ivanov
Among Gordana Siljanovska with Macedonia until now and Stevo Pendarovski with Macedonia from now on, the presidential campaign will be rolled out and the very act of voting on April 21. On that election day in the company of Blerim Reka as a counterpoint to the coalition votes of the Macedonian Albanians.
All three non-partisan, independent candidates. Siljanovska from VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition, Pendarovski from SDSM and the coalition, Reka from the opposition Alliance and Besa. The idea of Sela and Kasami with Reka, is obviously even more apparent to isolate Ahmeti and DUI from the voting body of the Albanian electorate. They started the battle with the integratives in the last parliamentary elections when after their almost two decades of unconquerable coalition rule; they halved the ratings and the parliamentary power. Through the mutual candidate their opposition now aims to send a message to DUI at the next parliamentary they will finish them.
In the current election situation, DUI is a burden for Pendarovski. A coalition ballast that will take away the votes of Albanian citizens who would support him, but not in Ahmeti’s company. Logically, for that reason, a handful of those votes in the first round will go to Reka. However, the candidate of the government considers the second round when at least one decent part of motivated Albanian voters on May 5 will still appear at the polling places. Then pragmatically, as opposed to the retrograde rhetoric manifested by Siljanovska, it is realistic to expect their vote to be given to Pendarovski. Hence, regardless of the number of votes that would go to Siljanovska in the second round, they will not be enough for an election victory. Her participation in these elections is losing in advance in all variants. Her candidacy is only litmus for Mickovski with a decent ballot to strengthen her own leadership position in the party.
Siljanovska is not meaningless political staff. But in these elections, at the expense of her decades-old professor dignity, she has consciously chosen to be the tool, the barometer of the inflexible, non-trending nationalist wing of VMRO-DPMNE, and to get votes of disappointed and emotionally injured voters from the compromise with Greece. Her self-sacrifice is in her political views with a location from an irretrievable past. It is simply impossible, unfeasible to reconstruct any of the contested integration processes effectuated through the Prespa Agreement. And people know it. Of course, she will have a lot of votes. Not because people believe in her unfulfilled promises, but because the electorate is plural, cheering, emotional, hence often irrational. Naturally, her points will be mostly partisan and from the campus of citizens with different political and ideological convictions than those of her opponent. But not because of the lies that she will annul the agreement, the constitution, the name. From the very beginning Siljanovska promoted divisions, vocabulary and rhetoric that should not be inherent in a unifier, the future mother of the nation as her party mentor called her.
The second and more important reason why Siljanovska will never become the first woman president of the Republic of Northern Macedonia is the fact that she, following the inertia of the current doctrine of her party promoter, continues the rhetoric of sowing fog before the real reality in connection with the already occurred changes with the compromise with the southern neighbor. Even the leader of the Greek opposition, also the hard-line nationalist and xenophobic Mitsotakis, with his arms out of breath and with a conciliatory tone, has made it clear that he does not like the Agreement much, but that he has no choice but to respect it. I am sure Siljanovska heard it. But even without that signal, she certainly knows, but does not tell people that the country whose president she is running for is already accepted in the world with its new constitutional position and defined as the Republic of Northern Macedonia.
Hence, it is unclear why Siljanovska has not repositioned her candidate role for the function she pledges yet. In each of her previous performances, persistently, as if fighting for a party throne, she promises priorities such as provoking early parliamentary elections, change of government, constitutional revisions and similar ambiguities. Such unfulfilled hopes that she offers to citizens further distance her from the overwhelming ambition to return to politics after two and a half decades of abstinence from this cruel turbulent sphere. And the quasi-patriotic emotion that Siljanovska is now treading as her party promoter is exactly that losing variant. This is for the simple reason that the Prespa Agreement, however bad, is rational and the only possible door for the integration that has always been an integral part of the programs of all political parties and the resolutions of the majority of their voters.
Also, in the opposition, especially the candidate, should know that citizens, some faster, some slower, are about to overcome unprincipled and unfair concessions. As compromises, with good or force, whatever, are already translated into the constitution of the country and accepted by all international entities relevant to us. Siljanovska, however, still ignores that immutable fact, so she will wait a little longer for the half a million votes that her party promoter dreams of.
All in all, as in none of the previous ones, it is crystal clear that in these in both rounds it will be chosen between Siljanovska’s dead end policy, which is unfeasible, which calls for the change of immutable events and between Pendarovski’s policy that will have to deal with the upcoming challenges. Indeed, nobody, neither from the government nor the opposition, the citizens, mostly, wished for a constitutional amendment because of the change of the constitutional name. But both of them, the majority of citizens also know that in this time and in these regional and global circumstances, without integration, the country was already risky without future prospects.
This presidential election is between yesterday and now. Therefore, if in both rounds, especially in the second, SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE manage to motivate people in the required number to go to the polls, for Siljanovska this race is lost in advance. If she and her mentors want more votes, then they will need to quickly change not only rhetoric, but also to redefine their views on the status of the country.
To do it clearly, just as in front of a school board. To give the citizens the objective and finally to separate the impossible from the possible. To stop the false hopes that they will return the time and change things. Even their most trusted voters do not deserve it.
After all, they can ask in Brussels, Washington, New York, and even in Athens, whether their policies are feasible.
The conclusion is in the answers from there.
*The text is written exclusively for the purposes of Inbox 7. For each republishing, a consent by the editors must be obtained. Inbox 7 does not always agree with the opinions and views of the authors in the debate section.
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